Cert: 12A Runtime: 115 mins Director: Elizabeth Banks Cast: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins
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Pitch Perfect caught me by surprise the other year, it was funny, crud and charming. It’s by far a guilty pleasure for any red blooded male. The inevitable success of Pitch Perfect did mean we would be getting a squeal in the future. Here we are Pitch Perfect 2, same cast with a few new faces and Elizabeth Banks directing Pitch Perfect 2. What happens in Pitch Perfect 2 you ask? Now in their senior year, the Barden Bellas are back to compete in an international a cappella competition that no American group has ever won before. Following an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction that sees Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) expose herself at an event to celebrate the US President’s birthday, the Barden Bellas attempt to restore their tarnished reputation by entering the World Championships, which sees them competing against European champions Das Sound Machine from Germany.This sequel feels like the awkward cousin of the original. It has some of the same features, but it is not nearly as charismatic as the original. It feels like the writers took what they figured people liked about the original then exaggerated it beyond recognition without retaining the depth that made everything so funny in the first place.
For instance, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins said some pretty hilariously inappropriate things in the original, but it took a second to realise how funny it was because the writers did a great job inserting wit subtly. In this instalment, their humour is blatant and not as funny. Overall, the sequel feels like a superficial attempt at copying the original without any heart.Mostly what bothered me is that Brittany Snow’s character, Anna Kendrick’s character and others seem to have lost their original personalities. Snow seems more like the original uptight Bella leader Anna Camp played in the original, which is puzzling since Brittany Snow was the moral centre of the group in the original.I think Hailee Steinfeld was great, she has a nice voice. It’s inevitable we will see a third film in the franchise with that ending. Das Sound Machine was a great inclusion, great musical choices but not the villain that you’d expect. The film definitely had good moments, I burst out laughing a few times. But it doesn’t make up for the fact that it lost the spirit of the original somewhere along the way.